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The Matrix Reloaded

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The Matrix Reloaded

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne
Director: Larry Wachowski
Rated: R
RunTime: 138 Minutes
Release Date: May 2003
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

*Also starring: Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Matt McColm, Jada Pinkett Smith, Monica Bellucci, Harold Perrineau Jr., Harry J. Lennix

Review by Steve Rhodes
3½ stars out of 4

The X-MEN series is just candy for kids compared to THE MATRIX trilogy, a sci-fi series for grown-ups. And, whereas X2 flagged as often as it rocked, THE MATRIX RELOADED has few dead spots.

If you were as baffled as you were mesmerized by the story in the first MATRIX film, you'll be happy to hear that a character known as the Architect (Helmut Bakatis) -- think of him as God in this very religious tale -- finally explains it all. But, if you can follow his long, labyrinthine explanation, you are definitely ready to go to the head of your Mensa class.

THE MATRIX RELOADED, written and directed by the Wachowski brothers, is the second of the trilogy and the most anticipated movie of the year except, possibly, for THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS, the concluding film, which comes out this November. In THE MATRIX RELOADED, the machines are coming in force with one machine for every man, woman and child in Zion, humanity's last refuge. In one final and cataclysmic battle, they plan on wiping out all of the remaining free members of the human race.

But, not to fear, Keanu Reeves is back as Thomas A. Anderson, a.k.a. Neo and The One. Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), a firm believer in "the prophesy," still thinks that Neo will save them all, as has been foretold by the Oracle (Gloria Foster). The atheists in Zion, who don't share Morpheus's unfaltering faith, put their trust only in outright war against the attacking machine monsters.

New this time to the plot is a much more serious love affair between Neo and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss). Another addition is about ninety-nine additional Agent Smiths, all played with scene-stealing precision by Hugo Weaving.

When most people use the term MATRIX-like, they are usually referring to the slow-motion fighting sequences. They are back, but no longer seem as fresh. Much better is a long freeway chase and battle that sizzles.

The story provides lots of thoughts to ponder -- "Choice is an illusion." -- and action sequences to admire before the movie comes to a very abrupt end. But, don't get out of your seat when the ending credits start roll. After the long credits, filled with some gratingly awful and painfully loud music, they run the trailer for THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS. I can't wait!

THE MATRIX RELOADED runs 2:18. It is rated R for "sci-fi violence and some sexuality" and would be acceptable for teenagers.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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